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15 Most Affordable Online Computer and IT Degree Programs (Bachelor’s)

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By Gabrielle Kratsas

Computer and information technology (IT)-related careers are listed among the top career paths in America today because of the constantly-evolving world of technology. The more we learn about technology, the more that this realm grows, continually increasing the demand for computer-savvy college graduates.

Featured Schools

What better way is there to learn about computer science and IT than on your own computer, enrolled in an affordable online computer and IT degree program?

There are numerous fully-online and traditional schools that offer online degrees and degree concentrations in subjects like computer science (CS), IT and computer information systems (CIS), and the number of these schools is growing. Some have implemented these programs into their curriculum just this past year. And with the flexibility of completely-online courses, these degrees are available to students of all ages, backgrounds and locations. A few of the schools on this list have been awarded for their military friendliness because of how simple they make it for active military personnel to get a degree.

Although these three programs can vary they are all helpful degrees for those who want to start a career within the computer programming and IT world, and many of these degrees even come with a business background to further expand the graduate’s possible career paths.

Methodology

The following list was developed using Wikipedia’s list of accredited online colleges, College Navigator and research of each individual school’s online programs and offered degrees. These schools are ranked according to the average net cost of undergraduate tuition, as reported by College Navigator. The “Unique Courses” sections list a few examples of the many courses offered within each college’s program.

15. University of Massachusetts in Lowell, Mass.
B.S. Information Technology Online

umass lowell logo

Net Price: $15,215

Overview: UMass Lowell’s IT program offers a cutting-edge curriculum with the widest array of IT-related course offerings of any other school on this list. In order to be prepared for this continually-growing career field, students are able to study a number of different subjects, including—but not limited to—programming, networking, database management, web design, multimedia and more. Local students can participate in this program through a mix of online and on-campus courses, but the fully-online program is just as great.

Affordable Colleges Online and The Best Colleges ranked Lowell among their list of best online schools in the nation. Specifically, Lowell’s online IT degree program earned a spot among Get Educated’s Best Online Colleges.

Unique Courses: Visual Basic, Desktop Video Production and Introduction to DHTML

14. University of Florida in Gainsville, Fla.
B.S. Computer Science Online

uf logo

Net Price: $15,157

Overview: According to UF’s website, their computer science program “prepares students for a range of career opportunities with great starting salaries.” This online program allows students to tailor their educational experience to their interests, skills and academic strengths, which makes it possible for graduates to enter careers within financial companies, insurance, health care, security and more. The program has a foundation in computer science as well as a strong liberal arts education with courses from the humanities, social and behavioral sciences and foreign languages.

The Affordable Colleges Foundation (ACF) gave UF the top spot on their list of “20 Most Affordable Online Colleges.”

Unique Courses: Numerical Analysis: A Computational Approach, Digital Logic and Computer Systems and Professional Communication for Engineers

13. Trident University International in Cypress, Calif.
B.S. Computer Science Online

trident inter logo

Net Price: $15,107

Overview: Trident’s CS program aims to prepare students for computer science careers in government, business, industry and non-profit organizations. Students in this program have unparalleled access and compassionate support from faculty, according to their website. Not only does this program offer education that is applicable to the current computing environment, but also skills that are adaptable to future computing needs. Whether students choose concentrations in cyber security, network administration or neither, they are required to complete 14 core courses and three elective courses.

Best Value Schools ranked Trident No. 2 on their 2014 list for “Top 10 Cheap Online Computer Programming Degree Programs.”

Unique Courses: Cyber Security, Object Oriented Programming and Network Administration

12. Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga, Tenn.
B.B.A. in Computer Info Systems Online

tenn temple logo

Net Price: $14,876

Overview: TTU bases their CIS program off of the way the business world is becoming more and more reliant upon information systems. The program provides students with a general understanding of business needs, as well as the skills required for students to manage systems on their own. TTU business students also experience real-world applications of their online education and personal talents. Because of the school’s Christian focus, their programs train “ethical managers, sincere marketers, trustworthy financiers, diligent IT workers and honest accountants,” according to their website.

Unique Courses: Basic Troubleshooting, Hardware Concepts and International Business Ethics

11. Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ariz.
B.A. or B.S. Computer Information Technology Online

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Net Price: $14,398

Overview: According to NAU’s website, this program “provides students with hands-on experience in the latest technologies, skills and knowledge toward common IT certifications, and the communication and business skills necessary for career advancement.” Graduates of this program have gotten jobs as business analysts, technical program managers, IT security analysts and more. Learning modules within this program are competency-based and hands-on to enhance the students’ acquired business skills. Other parts of the program curriculum are designed around certifications within the IT career field.

Unique Courses: Analysis, Design, and Modeling of Databases, Emerging Technologies and Effective Business Communications

10. University of Phoenix in Phoenix, Ariz.
B.S. Information Technology Online

phoenix logo

Net Price: $14,252

Overview: Phoenix’s BSIT degree program provides education for the specialized knowledge necessary to get careers such as systems analysis, software development and information security. On top of the wide range of technical or organizational skills students can obtain from this program, students will also gain an understanding of core business concepts. This program also offers students the opportunity to specialize in IT through their wide selection of IT academic certificates, which are aligned to industry certifications. Some examples are a Cisco Networking Certificate, Health Care IT Certificate and an Advance Networking Certificate.

In 2005, the University of Phoenix received the Wow Technology Award for digital education innovation. In 2012, U.S. News and World Report ranked Phoenix No. 5 among online bachelor’s degree programs.

Unique Courses: Discrete Math for Information Technology, Web Design Fundamentals and Database Concepts

9. Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va.
Online Computer Science Degree

old dominion logo
Net Price: $12,753

Overview: The studies within this computer science program range from theory through experimental techniques to engineering methodology. The program also offers a strong laboratory component that is designed to help students put their education to the test in real-world situations and problems. According to their website, graduates from Old Dominion’s CS program “benefit from a strong conceptual and demonstration based curriculum founded with hands-on laboratory experiences.”

The national nonprofit website AffordableCollegesOnline (ACO) ranked ODU No. 23 on their list of “30 Highest Rated and Most Affordable Online Colleges in the U.S.” this past April. U.S. News and World Report also named ODU among the universities on their top online programs list.

Unique Courses: Computational Methods & Software, Computers in Society and Professional Workforce Development

8. Grantham University in Kansas City, Mo.
Online Computer Science Bachelor of Science Degree

grantham logo

Net Price: $11,773

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Overview: This degree program prepares students for a broad range of computer-related career opportunities through a curriculum of basic coursework in computer technology and the theory of programming languages. Students will “focus on developing computer-based solutions involving hardware and software components and integration,” according to Grantham’s website. Students have the option to concentrate in Information Technology or Information Management.

Because of the flexibility and assistance that comes with Grantham’s online learning, the school has been rated among the top schools for military personnel for several years by multiple sources.

Unique Courses: Financial Accounting, E-Commerce and Algorithm Development

7. Columbia College in Columbia, Mo.
B.S. Computer Information Systems Online

columbia mo logo

Net Price: $11,759

Overview: Columbia’s online computer information systems program provides a liberal arts education with an emphasis on preparation for the ever-changing career path and graduate school. According to Columbia’s website, the program reflects “important trends and developments in the computer field.” Although the CIS program requires several business courses, the school provides a wide variety of elective courses, allowing the student to tailor the program to match their interests.

U.S. News and World Report named Columbia’s online programs among the best in the nation in 2014. GetEducated.com also designated Columbia as a “Best Buy” for several online programs as well as a “Best Online College” in affordability. Columbia College’s website lists these awards among others.

Unique Courses: Artificial Intelligence, Data Warehousing and Decision Support Systems and Computer Graphics

6. University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla.
B.S. Information Technology Online

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Net Price: $11,335

Overview: USF’s Information Technology online program was just recently integrated into the school’s Computer Science and Engineering Department. The program was built in a way that fully prepares graduates for jobs in the constantly-growing and dynamic field of IT. Some electives available to students in this program include IT Web Design, Ethical Hacking and Mobile Device Programming.

Unique Courses: IT Program Design, Comp Info Networks and Human Comp Interfaces for IT

5. University of Illinois in Springfield, Ill.
B.S. Computer Science Online

UIS Logo Dome

Net Price: $10,516

Overview: Students within this bachelor’s degree program can choose to specialize in software engineering or systems security and information assurance, and the program has been nationally recognized for information assurance education. Online students can complete all of the degree requirements within three years. Their BS program sufficiently prepares students for continued education in computer science as well as other related fields.

Best Computer Science Degrees ranked UIS No. 2 on their list of “Top 10 Best Online Schools for Computer Science Degrees 2014.” Computerworld magazine also considered UIS’s Computer Science Department one of four leading online programs in the country. These and many other awards are listed on the department’s website.

Unique Courses: Data Structures and Algorithms, Software Engineering and Information Assurance

4. Western Governors University in Salt Lake City, Utah
B.S. Information Technology Online

western gov logo

Net Price: $10,058

Overview: Instead of basing a student’s progress on accumulating credit hours, WGU relies more on the completion of challenging assessments to measure the student’s knowledge and skills in IT. Students will work with an assigned mentor to create a personalized degree plan and determine the best possible learning resources (online courses, textbooks, tutorials, etc.). With few exceptions, the students always get to choose when and where they study. Within the IT degree, students will obtain 15 industry-recognized certifications. In the IT Bachelor’s Program, you can choose to focus on network administration, security and software.

In 2008 and then from 2011 to this year, WGU has received the 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning from the United States Distance Learning Association, among other awards.

Unique Courses: Technical Writing, Leadership and Management and Web Development

3. University of Maryland University College in Adelphi, Md.
B.S. Computer Science Online and Information Systems Management Online

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Net Price: $9,489

Overview: UMUC’s 120-credit computer science program is divided into a sequence of five different sets of courses from first and introductory courses to the additional and capstone courses. According to the website, “The computer science major helps prepare students to plan, design, and optimize scalable computer software and hardware systems for use in commercial and government environments.”

UMUC is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education—one of the six regional accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The school also receives numerous awards annually. According to the website, they won ten this past year.

Unique Courses: Current Trends and Projects in Computer Science, Advanced Programming Languages and Image and Signal Processing

2. Northwestern State University of Louisiana in Natchitoches, La.
B.S. Computer Information Systems Online

nsu la logo

Net Price: $7,950

Overview: Since NSULA’s CIS program is housed in the School of Business, graduates of the program gain well-rounded knowledge of today’s business world on top of their CIS instruction. Students also have the choice of two concentrations within the CIS program: Application Development and Networking & Systems Management.

The University of Louisiana system has recognized this CIS program as an “Area of Excellence” since 1999. The program has won more than 10 national titles in various competitions, and it is nationally recognized for excellence in systems analysis and design, database design and development, Internet web design and development and object-oriented programming, according to NSULA’s website.

Unique Courses: Cloud Computing, Programming, Cyber Forensics, Internet Web Design and Development, Information Security and Mobile Application (App) Development

1. North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, N.C.
B.S. Business Education with a concentration in Information Technology Online

nc a&t logo

Net Price: $7,613

Overview: Since this degree program is grounded in business education with a concentration in IT, students will gain a familiarity with business through accounting, economics, management and marketing as well as knowledge of IT through courses like advanced computer applications, business information systems and management technology. Depending on how students choose to tailor their programs, they will be prepared for careers like telecommunications manager, database administrator, digital-resources manager, and more. All of the online courses are the exact same as those offered on-campus.

A&T won the 2014 “1890 University of the Year” award from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU).

Unique Courses: Business Information Systems, Management Science and Internet Security


Additional Resources


Gabrielle Kratsas

I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pa., but I recently moved to Florida. I graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park (GO TERPS!) in 2014, where I acquired a BA in multimedia journalism and a minor in creative writing. I absolutely love writing all attention-grabbing genres of fiction and non-fiction. I used to box competitively, I enjoy sewing and I have two dogs, Bubba and Ellie Mae, who I consider my children.

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